Sunrise Ft. Lauderdale Opening Soon

These are drawings of our new Gold Coast facility, currently in the last phase of construction.

We will be opening in late Spring at 2331 N.E. 53rd Street, Ft. Lauderdale.  (954-491-9700).


Should I Tell A Prospective Employer About My Addiction And Recovery?

This really comes down to a personal decision.  Our program is intended to develop “a manner of living that demands rigorous honesty,” but it is also an anonymous program.  The “rigorous honesty” demanded is self-honesty.  There are, without question, situations where being too open about our past can destroy careers and create chaos in other ways.  Those situations are not beneficial to our recovery either.  In some circumstances, it may be best to keep things to ourselves.  Some employers simply won’t hire people in recovery — especially in early recovery.  A newcomer of my acquaintance ran into that just a couple of days ago.  With the job market being what it is, possible employment opportunities can be few and far between.

Perhaps the best way to address this is simply to not offer information.  If it is a drug-free workplace and they want us to take a drug test, that shouldn’t pose a problem (assuming that we’re clean and not on methadone or other drug maintenance).  Direct questions about health issues are not permitted, but we need to be careful.  If we lie and are found out, we will almost certainly be fired.  That would eliminate any chance of good references from that employer, and could impact our employability in other ways.

The Internet is a major issue.  If we’re determined to remain anonymous, we need to avoid recovery-related Facebook groups, and all references to our issues in all social media.  If we participate in online recovery forums, we must be extremely careful to use pseudonyms and avoid photographs and other identifying data.  It may be difficult or impossible to keep the secret regardless of our preferences, if we have been careless in the past.

My policy over the years has always been complete honesty.  If someone can’t handle who I am, I want to know it immediately, not months or years down the road.  I make part of my living writing about alcoholism, addiction and recovery.  In that context my history is clearly a plus, not a disadvantage.  However, my other job is in the security industry.  From my beginnings with the company, my employers have known about my past as an alcoholic and addict.  On occasion, I have been able to use my knowledge to help out with the issues of other employees.  But what if I had lied, early on?  What changes would I have had to make in my life, over the years, to keep the secret?  Would I be a senior manager in an industry that requires trust?  Would I have been able to take part in the recovery community as I have?  Would I be the same person?  Would I even be sober?

There’s no cut-and-dried answer to this question, but honesty has one big thing going for it.  It’s less likely to come back, months or years later, to smack you upside the head.

If I’m On A Suboxone Or Methadone Program, Am I Clean?

Q. Is being prescribed methadone or suboxone considered being clean, even though they are addictive, abusable substances?

You’ll get different answers to this question from different people.  Generally the division lies between those who are on maintenance drugs and those who are not.  Both sides of the discussion have their valid points.  However, I believe you answered your own question when you used the expression “addictive, abusable substances.”

The consensus among most professionals and recovering addicts is that “clean”, when used in the context of recovery, means drug-free.  Having all mood-altering substances out of our systems is necessary before the changes that addiction creates in our brains can be repaired.  As long as drugs that modify the reward system (which includes all recreational drugs) are in our bodies, repair and normalization cannot begin.  When we are on Suboxone or methadone maintenance, we are still addicted¹, and our brains are essentially in the same condition as when we were actively using other opioid drugs.  It would seem to be pushing things to call us clean.

That is not to say that there are no benefits to drug maintenance programs.  To the extent that they allow people to cease other drug use and begin to take care of themselves and fulfill their responsibilities, they have some validity.  The problem is that the addiction remains in full force, and relapse — whether to other drugs or simply recreational doses of the maintenance drugs — is only a hair’s breadth away.  Adherence to maintenance programs rests squarely on our willingness to continue to follow them.  That is an extremely dangerous place for an addict to be.

Here at Sunrise, we believe that the proper uses of these drugs are as short-term substitutes for the drugs being abused, with a relatively rapid taper to a completely drug-free condition.  If we wanted, we could easily become licensed to provide maintenance services.  However, we do not believe that is in the best interest of our patients, their families, and the other people in their lives.
¹If you don’t think we remain addicted on maintenance doses of opioid substitutes, just try quitting.  Both Suboxone (when used for long periods) and methadone have withdrawal syndromes that are worse than the drugs for which they’re being substituted.  Truth.

How does Suboxone work?

Sunrise uses Suboxone for opiate detox.  You'd probably like to know how it works, without getting into all the fol-de-rol about agonists, antagonists, mu opioid receptors and all that.

Buphrenorphine (Suboxone's just a stage name) doesn't quite act like other drugs.  It stimulates one place in the brain the same as heroin, methadone, oxycodone and the other opoid (opium-like) drugs, but it has the opposite effect on most of the other receptor sites that opiates use where, instead, it neutralizes the opiates' effects.

In addition to buphrenorphine, Suboxone contains a drug called naloxone.  It is also an opiate antagonist, and it enhances the neutralizing effect of the  buphrenorphine.

What this all boils down to is pretty simple, once you get past the neurology and chemistry: Suboxone's neutralizing effects get the drugs out of the system, while its stimulating effect eliminates withdrawal symptoms.  If you give someone a dose of naloxone alone, it throws them into immediate and severe withdrawal.  However, the two drugs working together allow us to detox from our opiate of choice, and allow it to happen in relative comfort.

Completely changing our brain chemistry around can never be symptom-free, and if you've ever done an opiate detox “cold turkey,” you know that it's one of the most miserable experiences imaginable.  No one wants to go through that again.  With Suboxone, you don't have to.  Along with the medical and emotional support of a first-class detox facility, Suboxone treatment makes the early stages of recovery from opiate addiction physically and emotionally more comfortable, removing one of the biggest obstacles to getting clean and sober.

Inpatient or Outpatient Detox — What’s Best?

In order to understand why outpatient detox for drug addicts and alcoholics rarely gives satisfactory results, we have to review a couple of things about addiction.

Addiction is a compulsion to use a substance or behavior to alter the way we feel. However, it is more than that: it is a physical and emotional way of living our lives that, over time, becomes ingrained and seems to be the normal way to live. Addiction makes changes in our brains that cause us to believe that we need the drug or mood-altering experience — be it a prescription medication like Xanax, an illegal drug such as heroin, multiple sex partners, alcohol (the most commonly-abused drug of all), or something else. We believe that we need it to feel normal, to be comfortable — to live — and every time we try to get the monkey off our backs we have those beliefs reinforced by the discomfort of withdrawal.

Living like this for long periods, we begin to view it as normal. No creature willingly goes from situations that seem normal into those that seem different [Read more…]

So, No One Understands Your Pain Pill Addiction?

How about the Deputy Commander of  United States Special Forces?

US Army Photo

In going public about his drug dependency during interviews with USA TODAY, [Lt. Gen.] Fridovich, 59, echoes the findings of an Army surgeon general task force last year that said doctors too often rely on handing out addictive narcotics to quell pain.

An internal Army investigation report released Tuesday revealed that 25% to 35% of about 10,000 soldiers assigned to special units for the wounded, ill or injured are addicted to or dependent on drugs, according to their nurses and case managers. Doctors in those care units told investigators they need training in other ways to manage pain besides only using narcotics.  READ MORE…
If a three-star general can admit a problem and get help, so can you!

Suboxone and Opiate Detox

Suboxone (buprenorphine & naloxone)

Some detox centers do not medicate their patients during withdrawal. This is known as “cold turkey” and Sunrise Detox doesn’t believe in it. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can produce potentially dangerous health situations, including high blood pressure and dehydration. Left untreated, the pain of the withdrawal symptoms can make it psychologically difficult to stay in the detoxification facility, and makes the client more likely to leave prematurely.

At Sunrise Detox we use Suboxone®, buprenorphine-based medication that effectively manages opiate withdrawal symptoms. Read More…